Washington firm is feeling frosty

Hyperdrive Innovation is developing a new battery to work at ultra-low temperatures.

Hyperdrive Innovation is developing a new battery to work at ultra-low temperatures.

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Technology firm Hyperdrive Innovation has got the chills over its latest project.

Hyperdrive, based in the Future Technology Centre on the Turbine Business Park in Washington, is working with Oxford energy company Oxis to develop new batteries for the British Antarctic Survey, capable of working at extremely low temperatures.

Hyperdrive Innovation business development manager Steven Abbott

Hyperdrive Innovation business development manager Steven Abbott

The project is one of 32 to be supported with a share of £11.3million from the latest round of the Energy Catalyst programme, a joint scheme run by the Government’s Innovate UK initiative and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Hyperdrive is developing a new battery system, while Oxis is working on the chemistry which will power it.

“We use Lithium Ion technology to produce batteries for electric vehicles,” said Hyperdrive business development manager Steven Abbott.

“The project we are working on with Oxis involves Lithium Ion Sulphur technology. It is more suited to lower temperatures but it is also more ‘energy dense’ which means it is lighter.

“The chemistry is being developed by Oxis and then we will build a battery to go around it.

“The British Antarctic Survey goes out during the summer and places monitoring equipment that works through the winter.

“The benefit of this new sulphur technology is not only that it means the batteries are going to work better in low temperatures but, because it is lighter, the survey will also be able to take more systems out.

“They are limited in the number of flights they can make.”

The 32 projects will start their work in November.

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said: “We are clear that taking action on climate change goes hand in hand with securing our long term economic and energy security. By backing businesses and helping them grasp the opportunity that clean growth represents we can have pro-growth climate action.

“That’s exactly what the Energy Catalyst, run by Innovate UK and the EPSRC, does and these businesses that we’re supporting today have recognised the growth and productivity boost that a clean economy represents.”